Saturday, December 22, 2012

Violence in Video Games

Every year we experience a tragedy in real life where the person responsible turns out to be a video gamer, with favorite games such as world of warcraft and gears of war. And immediately following the evidence that the person charged with the violent crime is a gamer, there is an outcry to ban violent video games. I wish it were that simple. I wish that by banning content and certain interactive networks, we could curtail violence. In my generation we all had cap pistols and bows and arrows to play with. Shooting each other on the playground with these toy guns was commonplace. My son's generation included GI Joe and teh shooting continued. War, weapons, shooting and killing were part of play since I was born (and I am sure beyond). We blamed violence in the media. Violent music lyrics. Movies like Psycho, Halloween and Terminator for stirring up violence in our youth. And now, we blame violent games. Tragedies such as Newtown, grieve us all. Lost children, the promises unfulfilled, make us want to lock up our children until they reach the age of fifty to protect them from hate, violence and fear. Gamers include people of all ages, talents, nationalities, ethnic background, shapes, sizes, religions, races and temperments. The games provide an outlet, entertainment and helps develop strategic thinking. Of course, some gamers are violent, just as some may be timid. Some are hateful as others may be kind. Some are very bright and others don't have two brain cells to rub together. It's not the gaming, or the game. It's the violent actor we should be banning, studying and finding ways to disarm. Let's not take the easy and ineffective way out. It's not technology we should be blaming. It's the bad actors.

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